EAGAN, Minn. – Vikings fans are expecting defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to record the first sack of the game when Minnesota hosts Atlanta on Sunday. Kickoff is at noon (CT) at U.S. Bank Stadium.
More than 7,000 people voiced their opinion in this week's "Filtered by the Fans" Twitter poll, with Ngakoue earning 61.2 percent of the total votes.
Vikings defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo received 13.8 percent of the votes, while linebacker Eric Kendricks received 12.6 percent. A category of "other" accounted for 12.3 percent.
If Ngakoue does, indeed, take down Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan first, it will mark his sixth sack in Purple and fifth straight game with a sack, which would be the longest streak of his career. So far this season, he has notched sacks of Colts QB Philip Rivers, Titans QB Ryan Tannehill, Texans QB Deshaun Watson (two) and Seahawks QB Russell Wilson.
Ngakoue, who joined the Vikings via trade just before the start of the regular season, has 42.5 career sacks. A takedown of Ryan would mark his first of the Falcons signal-caller. This will be Ngakoue's second career game against Atlanta and first since his rookie season of 2016 with Jacksonville.
Ryan has been sacked at least once in every game this season, against the Seahawks (twice), Cowboys (once), Bears (twice), Packers (four times) and Panthers (twice).
The Falcons enter Sunday's game 0-5.
Odenigbo's first sack of the season occurred against Wilson last week on Sunday Night Football. The 26-year-old defensive end took a big step forward last season, finishing the campaign with seven sacks, and has played a significant role in Minnesota's defense this year with Danielle Hunter on Injured Reserve.
If Odenigbo gets to Ryan this weekend, you can bet he'll break out the "sword" celebration.
Kendricks bagging the first sack of Sunday's matchup may seem a little less likely, but don't count out the All-Pro linebacker, who has totaled nine career sacks and an ability to blitz. After recording four sacks as a rookie in 2015, Kendricks has totaled five in the past four-plus seasons.
In the Twitter poll's comment threads, other players "written in" for the honor included "The Hitman" Harrison Smith, as well as rookie defensive linemen James Lynch and D.J. Wonnum, each of whom have one QB takedown on the year so far.